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December 15, 2006

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Glitz and glamour bring profession together

It was another glamorous evening of fine food, wine, and entertainment as IOSH celebrated the end of a year in which, to quote immediate past president, Neil Budworth: “We’ve produced the best we’ve ever produced.”

The Annual Dinner and Awards in Manchester’s splendid Midland Hotel were a perfect opportunity for IOSH to celebrate one of its most successful years to date. And certainly it was a bigger celebration than ever before, as more than 300 packed into the room to take part in the merriment.

New president Lisa Fowlie began her speech with a wry joke about how she would now “get the credit” for two of the challenges her predecessor hadn’t managed to complete in his time as president — to make IOSH a bigger institution than the American Society of Safety Engineers, and to help health and safety professionals tackle occupational health issues by creating an occupational health toolkit.

Neil could have griped and moaned, but that’s not his style. He’d earlier received a photo diary of his year as president at the AGM, and was then able to follow his self-confessed hero, Professor Trevor Kletz, to the podium to congratulate him on his achievement.

For Lisa, of course, the presidential journey begins now, and her speech gave a clear insight into her direction for the year ahead: “On taking on the presidential role you are immediately asked for your themes. Having listened to my old boss, who always said ‘keep the view of the horizon broad’, I considered communication, training, and stress as the broad horizon.”

Intertwined with all these, though, is the idea that the world of work is changing, fast. And this concept is something IOSH members will be able to find out more about at IOSH 07 in March.

But while there are new issues to tackle, some of the old favourites still remain: “We need to find a way of promoting ourselves to a far wider and more diverse audience than the profession alone. We need to market the benefits that we can provide to others in advice and guidance,” Lisa said.

And all of this is what Lisa, alongside new president-elect, Ray Hurst, and immediate past president, Neil Budworth, will be seeking to do during the next year.

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